Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 4)

WHAT THE EYE HEARS by Brian Seibert
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"Awfully long for all but the most committed tap fanatics, but an intelligent, thoughtful assessment worth dipping into by anyone interested in American culture."
New York Times dance critic Seibert debuts with an exhaustive account of tap, from its roots in African dance to its multicultural apotheosis. Read full book review >
YOUNG ORSON by Patrick McGilligan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"McGilligan works overtime trying to justify such a massive book about only a part of Welles' life, but it's also buoyed by a dependably powerful subject at the center."
A boy wonder's life—overlong but also filling. Read full book review >

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME by Burt Reynolds
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A largely toothless and perfunctory look back at an extraordinary career—it may be cool to not give a damn, but here it makes for an uninvolving reading experience."
Jock, joke, movie star, centerfold: the many lives of Burt Reynolds. Read full book review >
HOW TO WATCH A MOVIE by David Thomson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 12, 2015

"An enjoyably deep dive into the interaction between cinema and psyche."
Celebrated movie critic and film studies teacher Thomson (Moments that Made the Movies, 2013, etc.) implores viewers to scrutinize themselves as closely as what's playing on the silver screen—or YouTube.Read full book review >
YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2015

"Rhimes said 'yes' to sharing her insights. Following her may not land you on the cover of a magazine, but you'll be glad you did."
The queen of Thursday night TV delivers a sincere and inspiring account of saying yes to life. Read full book review >

DEAR MR. YOU by Mary-Louise Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A unique, poised, and polished first book from a respected actress."
An award-winning actress's collection of never-sent literary missives to the men who have most influenced her personal development. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Worthy of Studs Terkel and an essential addition to the books of the Dead."
Coming on its 50th anniversary and just after the band's farewell tour, an engaging, near-comprehensive oral history of the Grateful Dead. Read full book review >
THE GHOSTS OF K2 by Mick Conefrey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Most of us will never experience K2. Conefrey leaves readers with both tremendous admiration for and an appreciation of the consequences for those who succeed in an adventure so physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing."
Chronicling the superhuman efforts to climb, though never conquer, the "Savage Mountain." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A wonderful story that brings us deep into that moment when America made race music its own and gave rise to the rock sound now heard around the world."
A monumental biography of the larger-than-life loner who fought for the acceptance of black music and discovered an extraordinary group of poor, country-boy singers whose records would transform American popular culture. Read full book review >
PETTY by Warren Zanes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Though it attests to the artist's singularity, this incisive, illuminating biography also serves as an elegy to one of the golden eras of the classic rock band—of the days when 'a band was everything, a shield and a shelter.'"
A biography of a reticent musician that will allow even his biggest fans to see him with fresh eyes and hear him with fresh ears. Read full book review >
WILLIAM CAMERON MENZIES by James Curtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"While it can get bogged down in the minutiae of camera angles, set details, and the tedium of production, this is an illuminating, long-overdue book about the man who taught the world how to make a good film."
Curtis (Spencer Tracy, 2011, etc.) details just about every aspect of director and film production designer William Cameron Menzies (1896-1957).Read full book review >
THE BASSOON KING by Rainn Wilson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Certainly for fans of The Office, but the amiable actor also offers thoughtful glimpses into the realities of the TV and film industry and an impassioned rationale for living an openly spiritual life."
The actor best known for playing Dwight Schrute on The Office and founder of the inspirational website and media company SoulPancake shares tales of his awkward youth and later adventures as a struggling actor in New York and Los Angeles—a journey sustained by his lasting commitment to the Baha'i faith.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >